Now that everyone can see that the famed vinyl is here to stay, audio equipment manufacturers are developing better and more affordable turntables.
If you’re new to the world of vinyl, or even if you just can’t be bothered to take the extra steps involved in using a manual model, then your best bet would be to get a fully automatic turntable that will let you start and stop your music at the touch of a button.
With a fully automatic turntable, you get the convenience of modern technology along with that sweet, warm vintage sound.
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OUR PICK: Audio-Technica AT-LP3
The AT-LP has some unique features that are not found on all automatic turntables. It comes with a universal headshell and AT91R dual moving-magnet phono cartridge which ensures that you get only high-fidelity performance.
This is a brilliant turntable that combines performance and features to great effect. This is as close as you will get to sonic perfection from a turntable. Listening pleasure doesn’t get much better than this.
This is definitely one of the best automatic turntables on the market with a beautiful, modern design. There are a lot of positive reviews from customers – and that’s not surprising.
Audio Technica has fashioned an affordable turntable that has all the ease of use of fully automatic turntables, but one that doesn’t take away from the performance because of too much focus on automation instead of sound quality. This turntable is perfect for the new generation of a vinyl record and audio enthusiasts.
- The weight of the tonearm is very accurate
- Addition of the ground wire keeps things quiet
- The preamp, which is included, can handle MM and MC cartridges
- Great set of damping feet (for vibration absorption)
- A stylus has controlled descent and drops softly onto the record
- Really easy to set up, even for newbies
- There is no clasp for the tonearm
- If you need longer or shorter terminations, you cannot change or upgrade the hardwired RCA cables
- The white buttons will likely get dirty easily and turn yellow over time due to contact with oils and dirt from fingers
BANG FOR THE BUCK: Audio Technica AT-LP60
With its excellent ease of use and articulate sound, the AT-LP60 is a great entry-level turntable. It’s well worth the price, considering its feature-rich design. This turntable from Audio Technica is reliable, with a dynamic, balanced tonearm that has soft damping control.
Built-in user-controlled pre-amp and selectable speed ratings make this the ideal turntable for budding audiophiles. It combines simple operation with clean, balanced sound. A USB outlet means that you can rip your vinyl to your digital library with ease.
The Audio Technica has a shiny, tasteful finish and streamlines tonearm mechanics. Just looking at it, one would expect it to be more expensive than the other decks in its category, but it’s not so. Very easy to set up.
This turntable has a phono stage built right into it, which means that you can plug it straight into your system or to a couple of powered speakers through an RCA cable.
- Fully automatic turntable operation that is easy to use
- Belt-driven design means the platter is isolated from the motor vibrations, giving you increased clarity and high-fidelity audio
- A wide array of connectivity options available
- Removable dust cover
- Anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter minimizes vibration
- The sound could use a bit more solidity
HIGH END: Thorens TD 170-1
If you have 78s in your record collection, the TD 170 from Thorens is perfect for you. It’s one of the few affordable automatic turntables that come with a motor capable of playing those records.
You will still need to buy a separate stylus and cartridge, but that is a lot more cost-effective than upgrading the motor or buying a second turntable. This turntable also comes with a built-in proprietary phono pre-amp, letting you send the signal straight to your audio receiver.
All in all, this turntable offers listeners the maximum convenience for all record types. It doesn’t require any adjustments out of the box and is easy to operate – which makes it ideal for first-time buyers who don’t have to worry about making any adjustments to the positioning of the tonearm or the balance. Well-crafted and sturdy, the TD 170 is designed to prevent interference from vibrations.
The sound quality is on par with some of the more expensive turntables on the market. This turntable is not flashy, but it’s definitely one of the best fully automatic turntables you can buy.
- Easy to use, thanks to its fully automatic nature
- Great performance right out of the box
- It has impressive build quality – something that customers have come to expect from Thorens products
- Might be a little overpriced for what it offers
- TD 170-1 doesn’t come with an amplifier, although Thoresen does offer a version with a built-in amp that goes under the same name so there is some confusion about which model customers get when they order.
ALSO GREAT: Denon DP 300F Fully Automatic Analog Turntable
The Denon DP-300F has all the features that you could want from an automatic turntable, including a built-in preamp to make sure the signal coming out is the best possible quality.
The tonearm has a removable headshell for easy replacement and uses a state of the art dynamic balancing system. It comes with a pre-installed MM cartridge. This turntable was designed with a heavier base and is made from rigid diecast aluminum. This helps to create a uniform rotation for smooth operation.
If you don’t want to deal with a complex setup of your turntable, then the DP-300F from Denon is the right choice for you. Although you will have to sacrifice some quality of sound for convenient features, you can always get better sound when you upgrade the cartridge later.
This turntable has a belt-driven system which uses a DC servo motor, has two speeds, and allows you to switch speed automatically – in addition to the normal push-button start and stop functions.
This makes this turntable even easier to use than almost all other automatic turntables, which is why it should be on everyone’s list of the best automatic turntables on the market.
- Fully automatic playback
- This turntable is beginner friendly
- It has a built-in phono preamp
- Offers amazing sound for its price
- It has a plastic build
- The buttons feel kind of cheap
- There is no USB recording support
ALSO GREAT: Marantz TT43P Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable
This turntable from Marantz makes it easy for you to revitalize your record collection. With two speeds and a 45 rpm adapter included for convenience, you will be able to enjoy your LPs and 45s for a long time to come.
The belt-driven design and the table’s firm base minimize the vibrations, which in turn gives better sound quality. The moving magnet cartridge gives a smooth sound that is amazingly detailed.
It also comes pre-installed for easy and fast setup. Vinyl is here to stay, and choosing the best fully automatic turntables is more important than ever so that you can enjoy your sonic experience.
Looking for a good quality turntable for a reasonable price? This could be just what you need. The Marantz TT42 is a very basic turntable which is the perfect solution for the eager, curious explorers of the vinyl world.
No bells and whistles here, but a sturdy, reliable turntable that will keep your old LPs playing for years to come. It’s not the best in the market, but it will get the job down, and you could look into upgrading later on.
- Manual lifter mechanism
- Moving magnet cartridge included
- Removable dust cover
- Lightweight and flimsy, it doesn’t feel like a quality purchase
- There is room for a lot of improvement in all aspects
What Is A Fully Automatic Turntable?
Although all turntables have the same basic components, a fully automatic turntable is unlike the dusty old turntables you used to see in your parents’ attic.
Automatic turntables are convenient and easy to use. They do all the work for you. At the push of a button, the motor spins the platter, the turntable lifts the tonearm, moves it over the lead-in grooves of the record, and lowers the stylus to start playing the album.
At the end of the album, the turntable will lift the stylus from the record and back to its starting point.
What To Look For?
The Price Range
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, but a really great thing about vinyl is that even with a very basic setup, you can still get some pretty good sound.
In addition to playing records, today’s turntables offer many other great features. Narrow your search for the best fully automatic turntables by deciding which features are going to be useful to you.
Damping refers to the manufacturer’s process of combating internal or external vibrations through the use of various components and different motor configurations. Usually, belt-driven turntables offer higher fidelity and are a lot quieter than direct drive ones. How well damped your turntable is will be a major factor in the sound quality.
Your Personal Needs
If you are a newcomer to the world of vinyl, then it’s not advisable to get a complex turntable. What need would you have for anti-skate, azimuth, and adjustable vertical tracking angles? You just need an entry-level turntable because you can always upgrade later.
If you want to rip your vinyl to your digital files then you will need a turntable with a USB output and reliable software to do so. For most this isn’t really an important factor, but it could be if you want to preserve some of your old music that is no longer being produced.
Although there is a lot to consider when deciding which are the best fully automatic turntables, don’t let that put you off. In an effort to help you make the right choice for your needs, we have gathered together 6 of the best automatic turntables on the market. Check them out below!
Now you have all the information you could possibly need to help you choose the best fully automatic turntables from the scores that are on the market right now. There is a make for all needs and budgets, and whichever record player you choose, you will be enjoying your favorite songs from your LPs in no time.